May 2013

Nash Gallery- Supporting North American Artists

Author: Rebecca Edwards

For Lynn Alexander of Nash Gallery in Shelter Cove, art encompasses much more than an aesthetic experience. For her, art can make impactful changes for individuals and society as a whole. And for her, it is a life calling to be a steward of the craft arts.
“We don’t like people working in assembly lines. We like keeping Americans busy and working,” Alexander said.

Nash Gallery “strives to support the efforts of American craftspeople that design and create quality work” reads the gallery’s literature. The majority of craft represented is made “in small studios that employ five people or fewer, giving customers the chance to own craft which is beautiful, durable and unique.”

Alexander values continuums, like legacy. “The premise behind Nash began with my parents’ gallery in Indiana in 1978. They had two rules: The gallery had to sell only American and Canadian artists and it had to be so anyone could walk in and buy something,” Alexander said.

Nash Gallery upholds both rules. “We are proud to only sell North American artists; and our crafts range in price from $17 to $5,400,” Alexander explained. With a wide selection of wares—from fashion accessories such as jewelry, belts and purses, to home décor items such as lamps, mirrors, clocks and vases, to fun finds such as colorful goblets, animated-looking money banks and magnetic flower holders—anyone can connect with a piece.

As part of the living legacy, Alexander’s son Scott manages the store, and the two routinely go on buying trips. She smiles about these trips as she points to a wall adorned with expressive copper suns. “We were so, so tired from buying and then all of the sudden this artist caught our eye and we both started laughing. We knew we needed to include his work in our store,” Alexander recalled.

Another continuum for Alexander is the importance of the artist’s story. She not only believes the artist transfers his or her soul into the work, but that quite often the artist’s story is relevant to appreciating the work and is perhaps something we can relate to.

“Look here,” Alexander began, pointing to some interesting rock and metal work. “This artist is a welder and in ’08, he was laid off. He went to his field and started gathering rocks.” Alexander paused and we both thought about the gravity of the situation. This artist was soul searching during a crisis—a crisis so many Americans have experienced recently. “After amassing all these rocks he thought, ‘I’ve got rocks and I’m a welder and I need to figure out a way to make money combining the two.’ Now his whole family is involved.”

Alexander knows the story behind every artist she represents, and many of her artists have been working with her for over 30 years. Alexander truly enjoys facilitating a relationship between the artists and the viewers. She believes the two can gain so much from each other. “Our goal is to put handcrafted art in everyone’s hands,” she said.

Nash Gallery is located at Shelter Cove Harbour, 13 Harbourside Lane, 2H, Hilton Head Island. For more information, visit nashgallery.com or call (843) 785-6424.

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